Business Travel News

Here is the latest travel news for business travelers.

Stay up to date with the latest news, including who is giving discounts or surcharges and best ways to take advantage of frequent flyer miles. These press releases are from Travel industry websites for airlines, hotels and car rental companies.

Delta Updates for Medallion Members

Delta Air Lines has changed the way Medallion Members are upgraded to economy comfort seats.

Medallion members who purchase tickets through a travel agency may now opt in for upgrades in the following ways:

Request a Delta Comfort+ upgrade by locating the reservation in My Trips. Opt in for Complimentary Upgrades during check-in.

Medallion members can also set automatic preferences for the quickest way to ensure they’re always opted in:

Visit the Flight Preferences section under My Profile at delta’s website. Here you can set default upgrade preferences that will apply to every trip once the settings are updated.

Please note: Even with default settings, they can still opt in or out of Complimentary Upgrades for any individual reservation during booking or in My Trips.

Medallion Members Opt In

If a Delta Comfort+ seat is available, the Medallion member will be notified in My Trips and via email of the upgrade. It can take up to an hour for Diamond and Platinum Medallion members to receive Delta Comfort+ seat assignments after ticketing.

    • Medallion members who have selected upgrade eligibility for both First Class and Delta Comfort+ will be upgraded to the most premium option available. If they have been upgraded to Delta Comfort+, they will still be on standby for First Class upgrades.
    • If no upgrades to Delta Comfort+ are available, the Medallion member will be placed on standby for an upgrade. He or she may view their spot on the standby list in My Trips or in the Fly Delta App.
    • All seats in Delta Comfort+ are part of our premium experience. Aisle, middle or window seats will be assigned based on availability.
    • Following an upgrade, a Medallion member can always select another available seat in the same class of service. This means they can move to a different Comfort+ seat via the seat map, if one is available at that time. Once upgraded to Delta Comfort+, agents will not be able to revert back to their Main Cabin seat via the seat map.
    • Medallion members will continue to enjoy access to Complimentary Upgrades to Delta Comfort+ while maintaining the same clearance priority.

As always, following an upgrade a member may always select another seat, if available, in the same class of service. This means they can move to a different Delta Comfort+ seat via the seat map, if one is available at that time.

Once upgraded to Delta Comfort+, members will not be able to revert back to their original Main Cabin seat via the seat map.

Contact your travel agent for more details.

Free In Flight Entertainment with Delta

Prepare for Entertainment!

Delta Studio entertainment services

Delta Studio entertainment services

Delta Studio, the airline’s industry-leading suite of onboard entertainment, will be free for all customers on two-class aircraft by July 1. With this announcement, Delta becomes the only U.S. airline to offer all in-flight entertainment for free.

Delta Studio offers

  • up to 300 movies
  • 750 TV shows
  • 100 foreign film titles
  • 2,400 songs
  • 18 channels of live satellite TV on select aircraft
  • selection of games on aircraft with seat-back entertainment systems

Delta is the only U.S. carrier to offer personal, on demand entertainment at every seat on all long-haul international flights.

The airline also operates the world’s largest WiFi equipped fleet, with more than 1,000 connected Delta aircraft, including the airline’s entire fleet of 660 domestic mainline aircraft, Delta Connection 2 class regional jets and 99% of its widebody international fleet.

Delta has made significant investments in its onboard product and the customer experience, including modernizing the interiors of hundreds of aircraft with high capacity overhead bins, seatback entertainment systems, new lavatories, ambient LED lighting, new seats with power outlets, and other upgrades.

Entertainment options will vary by aircraft type and route.

Delta operates the world’s largest in-flight entertainment-equipped fleet, with more than 1,000 aircraft offering Delta Studio via streaming through laptops, mobile devices and tablets, in addition to nearly 400 aircraft equipped with seatback entertainment systems.

Europe Travel Alert from State Department

We wanted you to be aware that yesterday the U.S. State Department advised citizens traveling throughout Europe to exercise vigilance in public places.

Please be aware of your surroundings, be prepared for additional security screenings and unexpected disruptions and follow the instructions of local authorities in light of the large number of tourists visiting Europe this summer and several large events highlighted in the alert.

Specifically, the State Department advises U.S. citizens to:

  • Exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation.
  • Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, especially in an emergency.
  • Monitor media and local event information sources and factor updated information into your travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family, have a plan if you are separated and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.

The State Department issues Travel Alerts like the one yesterday for short term events we think you should know about when planning travel to a country.

Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Alert might include an election season that is bound to have many strikes, demonstrations, or disturbances; a health alert like an outbreak of H1N1; or evidence of an elevated risk of terrorist attacks. When these short-term events are over, we cancel the Travel Alert.

In contrast, the State Department issues Travel Warnings when “we want you to consider very carefully whether you should go to a country at all. Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Warning might include unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks.

We want you to know the risks of traveling to these places and to strongly consider not going to them at all. Travel Warnings remain in place until the situation changes; some have been in effect for years.”

The full content of yesterday’s State Department’s Travel Alert.

Understanding the State Department’s Travel Alert

Understanding the State Department’s Travel Alert for Europe

Delta Airlines Atlanta airport check in
For Americans planning a trip abroad, State Department advisories can be confusing. Terms that may sound similar actually mean very different things for travelers.

In March, the State Department issued a Travel Alert for Europe. Alerts are issued for short-term events that the U.S. government believes Americans should know about when planning a trip. The current alert expires on June 20.

Travel Alerts are quite different from Travel Warnings, which the State Department also issues. The two are completely separate categories and are not interchangeable.

Travel Alerts

An alert does not warn against travel to a particular region or country. The State Department is not warning against traveling to Europe but is alerting Americans to be aware of potential risks and to be vigilant, as always.

It’s important to understand that the recent Travel Alert for Europe is in keeping with the longstanding Worldwide Caution that has been in effect for more than a decade.

A State Department alert offers the type of advice that travelers should keep in mind whenever and wherever they go abroad. That includes

  • being aware of your surroundings
    • especially during festivals
    • in crowds and when using mass transit
  • being prepared for additional security screenings
  • monitoring information on the ground and factoring that into travel plans
  • following the instructions of local authorities
  • and ensuring that family members know how to reach you in an emergency

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

As part of preparations for a trip abroad, Travel Leaders recommends that Americans follow the advice of the State Department and register their plans through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

Enrollment will make it easier for the State Department to contact a traveler if there’s a family emergency, as well as alert travelers to important information about places where they’re heading. The State Department also has a helpful Traveler’s Checklist on its website.

The safety of our clients is the top priority for all travel agents, who want to ensure that your long anticipated vacation goes off without a problem.

We closely monitor the State Department website for alerts for all destinations, including the ones most popular with clients. They work with respected hotels, resorts, cruise lines, tour operators and others to keep informed about security precautions and to guard the safety of clients.

All travelers, no matter what country they visit, can take precautions to help ensure their safety.

Those steps include

  • following your instincts to avoid risky areas,
  • checking with tour guides and hotel officials about any large gatherings
  • respecting the laws of the country
  • avoiding the display of
    • expensive looking jewelry
    • large amounts of money
    • or other valuables
  • checking medical insurance to make sure it covers overseas care and if it doesn’t, consider buying travel insurance
  • checking with your cell phone provider to see if your phone is capable of roaming on international networks.

We provide the most up to date information so that clients can make informed decisions about their travel plans.
Let us help you plan your next trip.

Your Plane Makes the Difference

Business Travel: For Road Warriors, the Boeing Plane Makes the Difference.

Boeing 777
If you’re a business travelers who is always on the road, a frequently flyer, you have plenty of stories about your favorite aircraft and I bet your favorite planes are those manufactured by Boeing.

For decades, Boeing aircraft have carried business travelers across the country and around the world and this year, the iconic American company is celebrating its first 100 years.

About Boeing

Boeing’s founder, William Edward Boeing, was born in Detroit in 1881, the son of a German immigrant entrepreneur who died when Boeing was 8 years old. In 1903, after attending Yale University, Boeing moved to Washington state to learn the logging business. But flying became his passion. He took lessons and in 1915, bought his first airplane.

Boeing soon knew that there was a future for aviation and that he could build a better plane.

Boeing’s History

On July 15, 1916, he incorporated the Pacific Aero Products Co. for $100,000 and started building planes at his Seattle shipyard. The name was changed to the Boeing Airplane Company the next year.

With the U.S. entry into World War I, Boeing manufactured aircraft for the Navy and when the war ended, began building commercial planes as well. In 1919, a Boeing airplane delivered mail from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Seattle, the first international airmail to reach the United States.

By 1928, they had the largest plant in America devoted solely to manufacturing aircraft, employing about 1,000 people. In the 1930s and ‘40s, the company built military aircraft like the legendary B-17 “Flying Fortress” that helped win World War II.

In 1958, Pan American World Airways took delivery of a Boeing 707, the United States’ first commercial jet airliner, which began flying daily from New York to Paris, carrying 111 passengers and a crew of 12. The 707 was the first in a series of jets that would help usher in a new era, as travel by air eclipsed travel by sea and rail.

About the Planes

Today, jets have made great strides in reducing noise, increasing fuel efficiency and improving cabin design. Those are all important factors for business travelers, who may spend hundreds of hours in the air each year.

The 737

The smaller, short-range Boeing 737 is the most-ordered plane in the history of commercial aviation. The plane’s design offers an open look that’s rare in a single-aisle jet.

Pivoting overhead bins are easy to reach, lessening stress during boarding and upon arrival. Passenger-service units make it easy to control lighting and air circulation.

The 747

Then there is the granddaddy jumbo jet, the 747. While many airlines are phasing out its service in favor of lighter planes that don’t use as much fuel, the 747 will always hold a special place in the hearts of frequent flyers who particularly enjoyed life in the bubble, the cabin on top of the main cabin, which usually offered creature comforts that make it feel as though you’re flying on your own private aircraft.

Boeing 777

The 777 consistently wins accolades from frequent flyers for its comfort and conveniences that make it easy for them to get work done while in the air.

Business class offers a spacious cabin with a seating arrangement that affords privacy and quick access to the aisle, along with plenty of room to open a laptop and store carryons.

The 787 Dreamliner

The long-range 787 Dreamliner, which made its maiden flight in 2009, offers industry-leading technology. Cabins are outfitted with soft LED lighting that generates less heat, bigger windows that provide more natural light and overhead bins with more storage space.

Advances in cabin pressure and filtration systems make the air cleaner and the flight more comfortable.

For help planning a business trip and determining the type of aircraft you’ll be flying on for long and short trips, let us know, we will be happy to help.

Union Square Starts In-Flight Meals On Delta

Classic cuisine by Union Square Cafe arrives on Delta Air Lines

union square delta

Delta One flyers on a few trans-Atlantic flights to Europe can enjoy hand-crafted selections by Union Square restaurant out of New York.

The new menu feature Italian-infused fare created by Carmen Quagliata, chef at Union Square brings the restaurant’s award-winning, philosophy to Delta Air Lines.

The partnership of Delta and Union Square Cafe deepens is a collaboration with the hospitality company behind beloved New York restaurants like Gramercy Tavern, North End Grill and Maialino has been served on select flights since December and will end at the end of the month.

Chef Carmen’s vibrant menus in the Delta One cabin reflects his Italian heritage with main course selections including:

  • Beef Short Rib Stracotto
  • Union Square Cafe’s Classic Roasted Chicken Breast
  • Gulf Shrimp and polenta
  • Baked Paccheri basil cream pasta

The latest menus pair with Delta’s 2016 wine program, which follows a similarly seasonal approach. The medley of vintages provide you with a sense of wine discovery as part of their in flight dining experience, and this year the wine will come from a number of local wineries from small artisanal wineries who bring to your tray a flavor and body uniquely their own.

In addition, the airline’s partnership with Union Square Hospitality Group has in the last year been making enhancements to its food programs featuring the culinary talents of Chef Linton Hopkins, Michelle Bernstein and Michael Chiarello on a selection of transoceanic routes, highlighting seasonal and regionally cuisine.

Delta wifi on International Flights

Delta Air Lines is offering high-speed Internet access on all transAtlantic flights between the US and the UK, mainland Europe, Israel and West Africa.

Delta Air Lines

Flights from Heathrow and Manchester

From the UK, the Delta offers up to 11 peak flights from Heathrow and one from Manchester, meaning more customers can access the internet at 30,000 feet.

“Delta already offer Wi-Fi across our domestic mainline fleet and we are delighted to extend the service to our trans Atlantic customers, giving them the option to work, keep in touch or surf the web throughout their flight,” said Nat Pieper, Delta’s Senior Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “More than 93% of our international flights offers Internet access and we will continue to use technology to make our customers’ air travel experience more productive whenever they fly with Delta.”

Delta’s wifi is powered by high-speed, Ku-Band satellite technology and is available on up to 83 round-trip flights to and from 27 European cities, in addition to Tel Aviv, Israel; Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; and Dakar, Senegal.

Free Access to Delta Studio

Customers can also enjoy free access to Delta Studio, an in-flight streaming service, which allows them to view movies and TV options direct to their mobile devices that is available in addition to the airline’s existing on demand entertainment.

Delta began installing wifi on U.S. domestic mainline aircraft in 2008. With international satellite based wifi now installed on Delta’s wide body fleet; Boeing 747s, 767s, the Airbus A330 and transoceanic Boeing 757s, the Delta Air Lines operates the world’s largest wifi equipped fleet, giving customers more options to stay connected in flight.

Zika Health Advisory

Vacation by the pool

On January 15, 2016, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a travel alert for as a result of an outbreak of the Zika virus in:

  • Mexico
  • Central America
  • South America
  • the Caribbean
  • the Pacific Islands

On January 16, 2016, health officials in Hawaii confirmed the first known instance of a Zika virus infection within the U.S., and then, cases have been confirmed in Florida, Illinois and Texas.

The Zika virus is spread by a mosquito, tick, or a flea. Given their proximity and the monthly flow of people across these countries’ borders, it seems very likely that the means of introduction was infected travelers.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus with symptoms that could include rashes, fever, headaches, pain behind the eyes, and joint pain. The illness and its symptoms are “usually mild,” according to the CDC, and about one in five people infected will develop symptoms.

As a result, Zika often goes undiagnosed and people infected may not seek medical care.

On February 2, 2016, the CDC has confirmed test results that show Zika can be sexually transmitted.
The CDC is doing more research to provide guidance; especially for the male sexual partners of women who are or may be pregnant.

The urgency of this outbreak is not entirely from the severity of symptoms, but from the fact that Zika can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby and has been linked to birth defects, such as, microcephaly smaller than normal head size in infants.

The virus had never been detected in the Americas until now. Zika had only been identified in Africa, Asia, and, most recently, the Pacific islands and Cape Verde.

Currently, the two Pacific Islands where the virus infections are occurring in Samoa and Tonga, prompting the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to advise travelers, and particularly pregnant women, consider postponing travel to both islands.

Brazil is the epicenter of outbreak with over 1.5 million infections. As a result, athletes and tourists planning to travel to Brazil for the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are being told to continue to monitor the virus.

There is also evidence that Zika virus infections may be followed by a neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is characterized by ascending paralysis, starting in the feet and legs and rising upwards. In severe cases, the muscles used for breathing become weak and the person has to be placed on a ventilator for respiratory support. In most cases, the person gradually recovers his or her strength over a period of weeks to months, but the recovery may not be complete.

The evidence linking Zika to Guillain-Barre syndrome is not as definitive as that for microcephaly, and the number of cases is not as large, so the CDC has not issued a warning against travel to these countries for those who are not pregnant. However, this is still a cause for concern.

How to Prevent Zika

There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. Therefore, the CDC advises travelers to protect themselves from mosquito bites by taking the following precautions:

  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • „ Use EPA-registered insect repellents as directed.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women can use all EPA registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label.
  • Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children aged greater than 2 months.
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents. (Clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear can be treated with a pesticide called permethrin to kill or repel insects such as mosquitoes and ticks) You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.
  • Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.

Preparing Healthy Meals for Delta

Delta Air Lines continues to set the standard for onboard healthy eating with a new selection of tasty, nutritious and freshly made Luvo wraps.

Delta Meals by Luvo

Delta Luvo meals

Delta passengers can choose from chef created, nutritionist approved Southwest Grilled Chicken wraps, Sesame Grilled Chicken wraps and the Mediterranean Whole Grain Veggie wraps. These will give travelers another superior option for healthy, delicious menu items on select Delta flights.

  • Southwest Grilled Chicken Wrap – Grilled chicken wrapped with a multi-grain salad (whole grain barley, millet, and bulgur with black beans, corn and roasted tomatoes) in a cilantro Greek yogurt dressing with arugula, romaine and green garbanzo hummus in a tomato whole grain tortilla.
  • Sesame Grilled Chicken Wrap – Grilled chicken wrapped with a multi-grain salad (whole grain brown rice and barley with edamame and shiitake mushrooms) in a toasted sesame-ginger dressing with arugula, romaine and green garbanzo hummus in a tomato whole grain tortilla.
  • Mediterranean Whole Grain Veggie Wrap Vegetable and multi-grain salad (whole grain bulgur with green garbanzo beans, zucchini, slow roasted tomatoes and kale) in a balsamic vinaigrette with arugula, romaine and green garbanzo hummus in a spinach whole grain tortilla.

“We love the passion and quality Luvo brings to its food as it so closely aligns with our own approach to enhance the customer experience and offer more healthful options on board to meet our customer’s needs,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s Senior Vice President Inflight Service.

The Delta team continuously strives to offer frequent refreshes for their customers, while developing a variety of fresh, flavorful and healthful options made from real ingredients.

Video: Preparing Meals for Delta

Each wrap is made with high-quality healthy ingredients that elevate flavor and taste, including fresh vegetables, nutty whole grains and savory chicken without antibiotics.

The wraps have limited sodium and added sugar and no artificial colors, sweeteners or flavors. Each wrap contains less than 500 calories, is packed with nutritional value and contains satisfying servings of protein.

They will be available for purchase for all Delta Comfort+™ and Main Cabin customers traveling on flights greater than 1,400 miles within the U.S., the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and nonstop flights between JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO.

“At Luvo our mission is to make it easy for people to eat nutritious meals that taste amazing, no matter where their adventures may lead and we’re proud to launch our new menu items with Delta to help accomplish this mission in the air,” said Christine Day, Chief Executive Officer at Luvo. “Together, we continue to redefine customers’ in-flight experiences by providing the nutrition and taste they desire, in a fresh new way.”

In December 2015, Delta’s domestic food offerings were lauded by The Diet Detective in its annual Airline Food Investigation with Health Ratings as the airline took the top spot among large network carriers and tied for second among all U.S.-based airlines with a score of four out of five stars, highlighting Delta’s partnership with Luvo.

The airline’s partnership with Luvo cements Delta’s commitment to develop unique partnerships to evolve its food philosophy.

Delta in recent years has expanded its regional and seasonal options for customers on both domestic and international flights. In addition to its partnership with Luvo, the airline partners with talented chefs like Linton Hopkins, Michelle Bernstein and Michael Chiarello as well as Danny Meyer, New York City restaurateur and CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group, to enhance the on-board, culinary experience.

In Dec. 2015, the airline announced that customers flying in the Delta One cabin on all transoceanic flights across Delta’s global network will enjoy seasonally rotating, regionally-influenced menus featuring ingredients sourced at the height of flavor, often from artisan, small-batch producers.

In addition, Travel Pulse recently named Delta the U.S. airline with the best beer selection, scored by beer-rating site, Beer Advocate. Ranked among nine other airline beer menus, Delta’s pulled in the top score of 73.6 out of 100.

Delta will continue to announce new offerings on board and make enhancements to its EATS menu in 2016.

About Luvo Inc.

Luvo was founded on a simple idea: To love our food — how it tastes, what it does for our health and how it makes us feel nourished and happy. Luvo develops, manufactures, markets and sells healthy retail food products and frozen ready-made entrees.

Luvo works with its suppliers to ensure the quality of its ingredients, giving top consideration to eco-friendly practices that promote sustainability and ethical sourcing and products that are environmentally sound and health sustaining.

Best International Vacation Trends for 2016

Caribbean Top Vacation Trend for 2016

Americans are setting sail for the Caribbean, according to a new survey of travel experts. Once again, Caribbean cruises comprise the most popular international vacation destination for 2016.

Caribbean

By the pool at the House Resort on Barbados.

In its Travel Trends Survey, Travel Leaders Group polled 1,316 USA based travel agency owners, managers and front-line agents asking them to name the five top international destinations they’re already booking for clients in 2016.

Caribbean cruises came out in first place with 42.9%; followed by Cancun, Mexico, 35.1%; European river cruises, 24.4%; London, 23.5%; and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, 19.8%.

Caribbean Princess

Cruise on the Caribbean Princess.

The demand for Caribbean cruises means that there are always new choices for travelers. In November, Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Vista, will set sail from Miami to ports throughout the region, with an onboard brewery and the first IMAX Theater on a cruise ship.

Holland America is launching the Koningsdam this year, which will feature the cruise line’s first staterooms specially designed for families and solo travelers.

As a new entrant into deep sea cruising, Viking Cruises has several new Caribbean itineraries for 2016, including an 11 day trip from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Cancun Mexico Tips & Trends

Located near Mexico’s ancient Mayan ruins and with miles of pristine white beaches, Cancun is a perennially popular vacation choice, with numerous options for hotels and resorts for every taste and budget.

For travelers who love to party as well as soak up some sun, there’ll be a new place to stay in 2016. The adults-only Breathless Mayan Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa from AMResorts opens in April, with plenty of ways to kick back and have some fun, including a masquerade party every Saturday.

European River Cruises

With their leisurely pace and fascinating ports of call, river cruises are a great way to experience Europe’s history and culture. Their growing popularity moves them up from fourth place in 2015 to third place this year in the Travel Leaders survey.

River cruising takes travelers through the heart of such major European cities as Budapest, Vienna, Paris, while offering themed cruises on everything from D-Day to Valentine’s Day.

London England Trends & Tips

In 2016, visitors to London can help celebrate the life and legacy of William Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death. There’ll be performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company and London Philharmonic, as well as exhibits and guided tours examining the history of the English-speaking world’s greatest playwright.

London’s new attractions include the Shard, which is the European Union’s tallest building and offers incredible views of the famous Tower Bridge and nearby Tower of London from its rooftop. There’s also the Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace and a tunnel slide set to open in the spring in Olympic Park.

Punta Cana

Punta Cana is on the easternmost point of the Dominican Republic, and apart from its beautiful beaches where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet, it’s known as a haven for some of the region’s top all-inclusive resorts.

Adventure travelers enjoy the area because of the opportunities ranging from kayaking and windsurfing to zip-lining. Plus, Punta Cana’s relative cost and proximity to the southeast United States make it an ideal weekend getaway.

Let Us Design Your Next Vacation